Is Your Rotator Cuff Torn?

Rotator cuffs are an essential part of the shoulder. Without this crucial joint, lifting, stretching, and twisting the shoulder and arm is near impossible. A rotator cuff is a group of muscles, ligaments, and tendons covering the shoulder’s ball and socket joint. The rotator cuff also stabilizes the shoulder. For some, the rotator cuff is susceptible to partial or full tears of one or more ligaments.

minnesota valley surgery center 4 Risk Factors For Rotator Cuff Injuries And How To Prevent Them

Signs and symptoms

Someone with a rotator cuff tear knows almost immediately. The first sign is intense pain when stretching or raising the arm or pain while resting, especially at night. People often feel a clicking or popping sensation when rotating the affected arm. Persons with any signs of prolonged pain or weakness should see a doctor immediately. While everyone is not susceptible to rotator cuff tears, these are 4 risk factors to consider.

1. Cuffs worsen with age

Degeneration due to age is one of the most significant risk factors for rotator cuff injuries. Joints, ligaments, and tendons lose strength and flexibility with age. Muscles also become weaker. As a result, simple actions as a youth can cause rotator cuff damage in those twilight years. Persons over 60 are more likely to get rotator cuff injuries.

2. Some sports create tears

Some athletes at the peak of performance can come right back down to earth due to injury. Rotator cuff tears are one such injury. Athletes who repetitively use the arm like basketballers, golfers, and pitchers are at risk. That does not rule out other sports as persons can get injured in freak accidents.

3. Check your family history

While scientists are unable to say why research shows that rotator cuff tears may be hereditary. Some families are more susceptible to injury or rotator cuff disease. The issue could also be connected to arthritis. If arthritis runs in the family, rotator cuff tears are more likely to occur.

4. Beware occupational hazards

Some jobs require repetitive use of the arms and shoulders. Over time, these tasks can create micro-tears on the ligaments protecting the rotator cuff. That opens up the possibility of a partial or full tear in the future. The jobs that pose a high risk include construction, loggers, carpenters, and painters

The right habits keep you injury-free

There are some simple but effective steps to reduce the chances of injury. For starters, make sure to take adequate rest, especially if the shoulder is in high use. Avoid constant overhead positions that cause repetitive strain on the shoulder. Strengthening the shoulder through exercise and physical therapy prevents injury over time. Lastly, adopt a healthy lifestyle through diet and supplements while avoiding smoking.

Beware the risks and take action

Regardless of the type of injury, rotator cuff tears can be painful. These tears limit the use of the shoulder and arm. Beware the risk factors, especially the situations that can cause injury. With proper rest and exercise, rotator cuff tears can be prevented. For any signs of injury, seek medical help immediately.